January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013

CHAMPION—January 28, 2013

          As the fog rolls down and through the valleys, Champions are once again amazed at the beauty of the place they are fortunate to call home.   Colors change, new contours emerge and the sycamores stand out white against the darker hills.  There is no need to go roaming.   “The trouble with weather forecasting is that it is right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.”  A guy named Patrick Young made this observation in reference Groundhog Day.   Punxsutawney Phil up at Gobbler’s Knob in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania has been popping out of his hole on February 2nd every year since 1887.   People gather there to see first-hand if the groundhog sees his shadow which indicates that there will be six more weeks of winter weather in store.  Some are saying that the weather is so strange and crazy lately that Phil and other historic indicators are no longer of any use.  On a sunny 60⁰ morning in January there is reason enough to agree.

          A daily visitor to the coffee bar at Henson’s Downtown G & G, celebrates his birthday on the first of February.  He was born in 1940 and travels with a little black dog.  Guess who.  Zack Alexander has his birthday that day too.  He is young and very handsome and much photographed.  He is the very spitting image of his good-looking grandmother.   Angie Heffern, Judy Parsons, Charlene Dupree, and Connie Grand share their birthday on Groundhog Day with Phil.  They were all born in different years and they are all beautiful ladies with talents, gifts and grace.  Zack Baker is an 8th grader at Skyline.   His birthday is the third and Angel Parks celebrates her day on the 6th.  She is a sixth grader.  Cowboy Jack went to the New East Dogwood School many long years ago.  His birthday is the 7thbut his friends will all pretend to have forgotten.  Joyce will probably say that he does not act his age anyway.

          Many friends and family of Lorene Johnston gathered at the Denlow Cemetery on Monday to bid her farewell.  She grew up between Champion and Denlow in a rock house that her Dad built.  Her sister, Bonnie Mullins, said that the house cost their Dad $100.00 to build.  He tore down an old house that was on the property for the lumber and hauled the rocks out of Clever Creek, so all he had to buy was the nails and the cement.  The house has been well maintained and is standing still up on a high spot with a commanding view to the east and the west.  Lorene married Toney Johnston in 1952 and by 1958 they had a three year old son and a dairy farm over near Gentryville.  The family talked about how much the couple loved farming.  It was a beautiful morning up on the hill there at Denlow.  It was in the sixties and the sun shone brightly between some high dark clouds making the light race across the green fields below.  It is not an easy thing to say good bye to loved ones and friends, but when it has to be said, it could not be done in a prettier place on a more lovely day.  Look into the Champion School Reunion pictures at www.championnews.us for some nice photos of Lorene.  Look there too for some great pictures of Denlow.   

          Email arrived at Champion at getgoin.net saying, “What a sweet sendoff for Ms. Wrinkles. I am grieving here in Austin as I feel like I knew her, thanks to your reporting of her citizenship and activities.  As the world loses this greatest generation, I hope our feet can crow to fill their boots—it’s a stretch, I think.”   

          The 25th of January was the birthday of Robert Burns, born 1796, 254 years ago.  He died at age 37, which seems quite young, though he left a great wonderful body of work behind and people around the world celebrate him on his day with traditional Scots suppers and music.   January 25, 1975 was the day Exer Hector died.  She was 62 and had just begun to really enjoy her life.  If it is a long life or a short life lived long ago or being lived now, it is a precious thing and more precious yet to be remembered well.  There is art in remembering well and it can be learned.  Choose the salient moments to recall and fill in with mental images that suit you.  There is no requirement for grief or for living in the past, but a reverence for those special ones makes this life more full.  Young Foster Wiseman was a lucky boy Sunday when he was able to sit in the pew between his grandmothers.  Foster is seven.  He will not forget these great ladies who love him so much if he lives to be 100. 

          Linda’s Almanac  from over at The Plant Place in Norwood says that the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of February are good days to plant root cops, good days to transplant, good for planting seed beds, good days to prune to encourage growth and to apply organic fertilizer.  Perhaps the weather will cooperate and some young men will come by wanting to help out in the garden.   That may be just a day dream for the old folks who just get it done a little at a time.  If last year is a clue to what is in store for this garden season, some are planning to get everything in early and be prepared to protect against a late frost.  It is a gamble.  Linda is getting the Cole crops ready for gardeners and starting the perennials and herbs.

           The movie “Groundhog Day” tells the story of a man who lives the same day over and over until he finally gets it right.  He learns empathy, compassion and humility and how to speak French and play the piano.  He winds up with the girl and they seem destined to live happily ever after.   “They say we’re young and we don’t know.  We won’t find out until we grow.  Well I don’t know if all that’s true, ‘cause you got me, and baby I got you!” In Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!



January 26, 2013

January 23, 2013

January 23, 2013

Over here at the offices of www.championnews.us, we do not pretend to be journalists, but we know one when we read one.   This article was shared by a good friend of Champion. 

Charley Reese’s Final column!

A very interesting column. COMPLETELY NEUTRAL.
Be sure to Read the Poem at the end..

This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It’s a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!

545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President’s proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees… We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it… is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren’t so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid…

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me
to my doom…’

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the heck happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’
I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!


January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013

CHAMPION—January 21, 2013

Champions embrace change. It is the nature of the place which is at once very much separate from the rest of the world and very much a part of it. This change is a hard one to take however, as one of its most notable residents has left her old home place for her Other Home. One time in a conversation with Esther Wrinkles, she said that Champion had really gone down, that it was nothing like it used to be when she was a girl. For those living in Champion today, it is just fine because the people who live here now love it the same way she did when she was growing up. It is just different. It seems that there were more young people then. Farmers had big families because the farm required many hands and because that was the how things were back then. What might be called privation now was the very set of circumstances that made people of Esther’s generation strong and resilient. They did a lot of walking and working and they played hard and ate wholesome food grown on the farm. They traded with their neighbors and visited with them regularly. There were few phones and no television to keep people sequestered from each other. It was a vigorous, thriving place, full of fun and excitement, even as it is today, but different. Esther stayed up with the times. Her enthusiasm for her family, her friends, and her community made everyone want to be a better person and a better citizen. She had a wide circle of friends who are calling on each other now with a sense of hollowness. As the emptiness of her absence fills in with all the good memories that the mention of her name evokes, it will be a little less plaintive and a little more joyful, just as she was. Who ever loved bluegrass more than Esther? She had been missing the Thursday jam sessions at the Vanzant Community Center in recent months, but very much enjoyed hearing about them from her many welcome visitors.

Esther wrote a community article for the local paper for every bit of fifty years. When she moved to Vanzant from Champion she changed the title of her article, but not her style. She enjoyed sharing the happenings of her neighborhood and kept a good positive view, pleased to point out the good things and to keep the negative things in proper perspective. She knew pretty much everything going on, but was not a gossip. She enjoyed talking about the old days and how she stayed an extra year in the eighth grade so that she could go to the same teacher who had taught her father. She rode a horse to school at Denlow and had some interesting stories to tell about those days and about traveling to the various cyphering matches and spelling bees around the country. She loved to play basketball and her overall athleticism is probably responsible for her vitality up until very recent times. And for friendship, she set the standard. More than one sick Champion has had the comfort of her regular call during a protracted illness. It can be said that she lived the life she believed in. Look to www.championnews.us in the Archive July 29, 2007 to read some conversations with Esther.

The Skyline Volunteer Fire Department has Esther largely to thank for its very existence. She was a tireless and inspiring worker and only in the past year resigned herself to the idea that she was slowing down. So the chili supper is coming up in a few weeks and there will be an empty seat when the music starts. “Time is filled with swift transitions.”

Miley Schoeber just had her second birthday on Thursday. She was excited particularly to see her Grandmother arrive before it was time for her to go to bed—her wonderful Grandmother with her birthday cupcakes. The joy that can be generated between grandparents and grandchildren is rightly some of the very finest of sentiment to be experienced in life. Who is being comforted when grandmother rocks the baby? It is the very definition of tenderness.

Cold days in January are the time to plant broccoli and other crops of that ilk. Linda over in Norwood is taking care of those chores for gardeners who have neither the aptitude nor the facilities to do that particular kind of delicate work. One day before long a person can pop into the Plant Place and pick up the early crops ready to transplant into the garden. The seasons roll around and the year passes quickly. “While going down life’s weary road, I’ll try to lift some traveler’s load. I’ll try to turn the night to day and make flowers bloom along the way. Life’s evening sun is sinking low. A few more days and I must go.”

The Nation is celebrating patriotism this week with speeches, ceremonies, parades and frequent homages to the brilliant Constitution. Love and Gratitude are order of the day in Champion—looking through a tear to the Bright Side!


January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013

CHAMPION—January 14, 2013

           A letter from Texas to Champion at getgoin.net asks, “What’s going on with Esther Wrinkles?  We haven’t read anything about her for a couple of weeks.  We have never been to Champion, but we feel like we know this lady.  Please send her our best wishes.”  Champions join their distant friends in extending their best thoughts and prayers to Esther who has been having serious health problems of late.  Her quilts and pies are legendary and those who have enjoyed the pleasure of  her friendship these many years are struggling to find the right words to tell Esther how much she is loved and appreciated—an original, a real genuine Champion. 

         Another letter to the email box complained that there was no song in the article last week.  Sometimes the whole article does not make the editorial cut because of content or most usually because of length.  If you think you are missing something look into the archives at www.championnews.us  to see the unabridged version.  As for the song, last week music lovers were reminded of Roger Miller who died at the young age of 56 back in the 1980’s.  He was known for some great songs like “Dang Me” and “You Can’t Roller-skate in a Buffalo Herd.”  The one most favored by some Champions is “Walking in the Sunshine, Sing a Little Sunshine Song.”  It goes on to say to put a smile upon your face as if there’s nothing wrong.  That sentiment echoes one made often to Champion’s tinkerer- in-chief particularly on his birthday: “If you act like you are having a good time, pretty soon you will forget that you are acting and you will really be having a good time!”  Reckon?

           Bob and Naomi Densel of Mountain Grove called to get directions to Champion.  Bob moved to Mountain Grove when he was two years old and Naomi was born there.  He is 85 now and the two of them have never been to Champion!  He is a retired painter (the very Rembrandt of house painters) and is getting over a broken leg.  He is out of the cast now and into the boot, but still has had to spend too much time on the couch.  By the end of the month, he should be moving around better and he is very much looking forward to it.  Bob and Naomi have some amazingly beautiful granddaughters who dote on them.  They are looking forward to moving out of the hustle and bustle of Mountain Grove and into the relative tranquility of Norwood.  That will be good because it will bring them a little closer to Champion which is the very definition of tranquil.  Bob had a friend, an armchair philosopher, who said, “Time is marching inexorably on.”  Plans are being made for a visit to Champion in the spring.  They have a treat in store for them and Champions do too, as it is always a joy to find new friends. 

          More information about the 12-12-12 picture has come from Laine Sutherland.  “I read your latest article with interest. Regarding Lester Sutherland being in the Denlow, 12-12-12 photograph, I can authoritatively state that the man standing next to Lola Proctor was not Lester Sutherland. I am attaching a photo of Lester for your comparison.  Lester was “sweet” on Lola but he was drafted Aug. 13, 1917 and died December 3, 1917 in boot camp at Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas, of measles and pneumonia. His mother, Neta Arada and his sister, Mary Ethel, traveled to Fort Funston when they received word he was ill. His mother asked him if he recognized her; he answered, “Certainly” and died. He died just 20 minutes after their arrival. Lester was in Battery “C” 342ND Field Artillery, and was quickly promoted to “B” Troop Military Police.”  The portrait is of a clear eyed resolute young man, dressed in the fashion of the day with the visage of the serious demeanor of the time.  While his exact age is not evident, he has the look of a mature, competent, confident individual of the sort that were bred and raised in Champion during that era. 

Lester Ray Sutherland

Laine has more pictures to share.   Champion!  Share your pictures at Champion at getgoin.net or at Champion Items, Rt. 2 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.   Look at some great ones at www.championnews.us.  Check out the extensive collection at The Douglas County Museum and Historical Society on facebook or on East Washington Avenue in Ava on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

          There is an old song that goes, “My life’s all trouble.  I cannot be happy.  When I open my mouth, she sticks in her jaw. I’d rather be sent off to jail or to congress than to spend all my life with my mother-in-law!”  This is applicable here only in that Mary Beth Shannon is soon slated to be the Mother of the Bride.  She is not to expect such rough treatment from her future son-in-law as the old song suggests, because her brilliant daughter has proven to be level headed and mature in all important matters.  On Thursday Mary Beth has a birthday and that will invite another more appropriate song.  On Friday Champions can sing that song to their favorite merchant who has the bloom of youth about her yet.

         The Skyline VFD Auxiliary had its meeting at Henson’s Grocery and Gas on the Eighth of January (Elvis’s birthday and Rachel Evans, as well).  They are getting ready for their annual chili supper. President, Betty Dye, has produced a stunning queen sized quilt for the occasion, which is now on display at the store.  It has a chocolate brown lining and the bold geometric pattern is of her own design and superbly executed.  It was quilted by the nice folks at Jernigan’s over on the South side of the square in Ava.  The work is very nice and the quilt will be a treasure for the winner.  The lineup for the entertainment at the chili super is excellent again this year.  The Pocket Hollow Band and David Richardson’s Whetstone will be there.  The EMT Gang and Calvary Mountain Bluegrass will also perform.  The Pride and Joy Cloggers will entertain between bands with a program of precision dancing that is sure to delight.  Look for flyers to be going up around the area to get additional details about the event that always comes just in time to cure the late winter doldrums—cabin fever.  The next meeting of the Auxiliary will be at 6:30 on Tuesday, February 12th.  Anyone in the Skyline Fire District is welcome to attend, to join up, and to participate in the hard work that makes this one of the hallmark happenings in the area.  Come down to the Meeting Room at the Historic Emporium over on the North side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  February 12th—just two days before Valentines’ Day.

          An informed person says that singing causes the brain to release endorphins that help the immune system fight off disease, infection and depression.  “They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum.  And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them.  Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.  They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.”  So the total amalgam of what everyone knew about Dave Miller left everyone surprised in some sweet way.  Mercurial he was and he is much missed by many who wish they had the chance to know him more.  Adios!  Amigo!

           Fight the early winter doldrums with a nice cup of Joe and some friendly visiting with colorful locals at Henson’s Downtown G & G on the North Side of the Square on the banks of Old Fox Creek, at the bottom of several hills and the junction of a number of gravel roads and one slick piece of pavement.  You’ll be in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013

CHAMPION—January 7, 2013

          For any who have not had the opportunity to visit Champion since Christmas, you will see that there have been some changes there.  Now in the window of Henson’s Downtown G & G is a neon sign that spells out the word “open” one letter at a time.  It is exceedingly fancy and it replaces the hand lettered sign that served the purpose for as long as anyone can remember.  It is bright and colorful and can be seen from a distance so that on any day except Sunday or Monday afternoon it is a cheerful welcome.  Champion is a place that is open to change in all of the good ways.  It is also a most hopeful place and right now Champions are hoping for a good change in the weather that will bring some much needed moisture to the area.  Optimism is Champion!

Cleaning up from the holidays is a good way to get to do a little reliving of the best part of the time spent with friends and family.  It is always a treat to go back through the cards and notes.   Betty and Darrell Haden over in Tennessee wrote to say that they have had a good Christmas and had been enjoying their first snow storm and artic winds.  One of the very first letters that came to ‘Champion Items’ sometime back in 2006, came from Professor Haden of the University of Tennessee.  He was in the English department there and it was both flattering and very encouraging to learn that The Champion News had appreciative readers in places where education was actually going on.  Walter Darrell Haden is one of Smallett’s Favorite Sons and has significant and credible credentials in the writing department, so a person can see how much his approval might mean.  It has been a real gift to get acquainted with him.  Look for excerpts of Professor Haden’s book, The Headless Cobbler of Smallett Cave, on the website at www.championnews.us.   It was published by The Kinfolk Press of Nashville, Tennessee in 1967.  Find it in the Champions Friends Category over on the right hand side of the page. 

          January birthdays are exciting.  The weather is cold, the days are short.  What could be better than a birthday party?  Of course Jacob Coon and his dad probably celebrate together since Dad’s is on the first and Jacob’s is on the third.  Mrs. Teeter Creek Herbs also has the first day of the year as her own.  Milo Gaudi Reay, of Edinburgh, celebrates his very first birthday on the 7th, and another lovely new friend there, Miss Rachael Evans, revels the next day on the 8th of January, also the birthday of Elvis.  Champion Elizabeth Johnston rejoices on the 9th.    Champion’s favorite Shop Girl enjoys the 10th as her special day, and then Wilburn Hutchison shares his day with Bob of Teeter Creek, who may be partied out already.  Willis Masters, of Abilene, Texas, will be seventy on the 14th of January.  His Champion sister hopes he finds some pleasant way to spend it and that he will soften his attitude toward her.  Jacob Kyle Brixie has his special day on the 18th and Kyle Barker will be five years old on the 21st.  Billy Curtis celebrates his 13th on the 24th.  They are both students at Skyline School.  Doni Coonts is a teacher there with a birthday on the 25th.  The 26th is Brooke Johnson’s birthday.  She will be six and is a first grader this year.  Former Skyline student, Kaye Heffern Alexander is still in the full bloom of her youth and will be partying on her day, the 27th.   She has already been doing some serious partying, but more about that later.  Erika Strong is in kindergarten now and shares a birthday with school board member James Brixey, who was reported to have been forty years old in 2012!  It just goes to show that there is reason to be happy every day of the year in Champion!  Seventy or eighty old rockers and rollers and old tree huggers and their children and grandchildren gathered for a Jan(uary) birthday party that will have them all smiling and reminiscing until their next gathering.  The place was full of Love and Gratitude, good music, food, and precious friendships.  What a joy it is to look across a room into the smiling face of a dear friend one has not seen in decades.  Champion!

          Concerning the old picture taken in Denlow in 1912, the one dated 12-12-12, there are conflicting reports about just who some of the people are.  Pete (Lyman) Proctor has a copy of the photo with his Grandmother Lola Upshaw Proctor’s handwriting on the back identifying the people as:  Top row, left to right—Lester Lemmons, Lola Upshaw, Howard Spurrier.  Bottom row, left to right—Frankie Sternberg, Lillie O’Neal, Fred Putnam.  In an earlier conversation with Anita Sutherlan Krewson, she said that she thought the young man identified as Howard Spurrier was indeed Lester Sutherlan.  That was also the opinion of Geneva Heinemann.  It seems that Lola Upshaw and Lester Sutherlan were sweethearts.  This is according to Pete’s aunt Alice and others.  He (Lester Sutherlan) was called up into the army and died in the war over in France.  It must have been in World War One.  It is a sweet, sad story and a joy that people are interested in the lives of the old folks.  If people off in the future will be interested in the lives of those living today, it might depend on how well they live them now and how well connected they are to their families and friends.   Connections are not all just about computers.    Not everyone has computer access or even an interest in them, but for those who do, the Douglas County Museum and Historical Society has a page up on Facebook with many wonderful and very old pictures of the area.  For those without computer access, a trip to Ava on a Saturday will find the Museum open from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  Champions would not have known about the on-line access to the Museum if it had not been for The General sharing the information.  Say what you like about The General, he is always most generous about sharing what he knows.  He is a veritable fount of information and a real Champion.  Another Champion points out that digital photography is great, but it may be that not many photos are actually being printed out these days.  If the computer crashes or the technology is superseded, or the laptop is lost, or the internet goes down, or the electricity goes off, it could be that the pictures go with it.  Current times may end up not being as well documented as the distant past.  Share old or new pictures with The Champion News in the mail box at Champion at getgoin.net or in the mailbox by the side of the road, Rt. 2 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717,  that is attended to so nicely by the wonderful US Postal Service.

          Even though some mornings are in the low teens Fahrenheit wise, the sun is out and hearts are light to begin the year.  “Walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song.  Put a smile upon your face as if there’s nothing wrong.  Think about a good time you had a long time ago.  Think about; forget about your worries and your woes.  Walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song.”  That is one of Roger Miller’s many great songs.  He died back in the 1980’s at the young age of 56.  He would have been right at home singing on the front porch of the Historic Emporium located over on the North side of the Square, at the beginning of the pavement, where country roads meet on the wide and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek.  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!